This Saturday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, which will feature an international collaboration of female brewers, in addition to Australia’s annual Women of Beer project.
Saturday will mark the fourth collaboration brew day and resulting beer for the Australian Women of Beer collective. Their group was born from a one-off stage show at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in 2011, which was followed up by a collaborative brew day at True South and the release of their first beer, Ninkasi’s Angel. Since then, the all female team have gathered annually to craft a beer, with brew days in subsequent years at Matilda Bay’s Port Melbourne brewery and Red Hill Brewery.
This year sees a change of state for the brew, with a move to Sydney via the Young Henrys Brewery in Newtown.
For the first time, the concept has also gone global, with the UK’s Project Venus leading a call for female brewers around the world to unite on March 8 by all brewing a special beer in support of International Women’s Day.
This inaugural day of global brewing – the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD) – aims to raise the profile of women in the beer industry, as well as helping to educate women about beer. Profits from the brewed beers will be donated to charity, being either the Pink Boots Society (an international organisation aimed at supporting women in the beer industry) or a local charity of choice. There are currently over 60 breweries participating, with this number growing daily. Participating countries include the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Canada and Israel.
IWCBD organiser, Denise Ratfield from Stone Brewing and the Pink Boots Society, told Australian Brews News that the global reach and excitement generated by this international collaboration has already made the forthcoming day a success.
“When Sophie de Ronde of Brentwood Brewing and Project Venus proposed International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day to Pink Boots Society, and I in turn facilitated marketing the event, we had no idea that so many women from such a variety of breweries from all over the globe would contact us,” said Denise.
“The buzz around this has been palpable, to the extent that multiple breweries that aren’t even complete and brewing yet have committed to the next event.”
Denise explained that the event is offering encouragement and support to females in the beer industry, a field that’s currently dominated by men.
“I can tell you, as one of the Event Organizers, that women from all over the world are communicating with me about how excited they are to be part of something that is bigger than they are but also understand and appreciate that by participating, they are paying it forward for their counterparts.”
“Proceeds garnered from the Unite Pale Ale collaboration brew will, in part, go to the Pink Boots Society, which will utilize the funds to send scholarship recipients to prestigious brewing schools and programs so that they can further their careers.”
“In a nutshell we are offering female brewers, ‘brewsters’ if you will, an opportunity to excel in the brewing industry.”
In Australia, the Women of Beer will be brewing a salted caramel brown ale, a plan that was set before the new international collaboration took flight.
Female brewers and brewing personalities from around Australia will be come together on the day, with each lending a hand in the day’s brewing.
Lead by Sam Fuss of Young Henry’s, the brew crew will include:
- Kirrily Waldhorn – the Beer Diva
- Chloe Lovatt – Matilda Bay Brewing Company
- Allison MacDonald – Matilda Bay Brewing
- Charlotte Grant – Little Creatures Brewing
- Carrie McLachlan – Little Creatures Brewing
- and more!
Kirrily told us that the Australian Women of Beer collaborations have inspired a valuable support network between the participating brewers, and their time together is always full of laughs.
“[The highlight has been] the opportunity to work side by side with the most amazing group of females in our industry,” said Kirrily.
“Our core group keeps growing and growing and each individual female has their own inspirational story and we celebrate all of our individual strengths.”
“The ability to learn from one another and bring our individual skills together to create, market, sell and then channel the profits of our beers into either charitable organisations or sponsorships within our industry is fantastic.”
With this year’s International Women’s Day theme being ‘inspiring change’, Kirrily hopes that their efforts will help inspire change across Australia’s beer industry and market.
“I would still like to see beer more approachable for women, that is not the liquid but the overall product in terms of how it is promoted, served, marketed and presented.”
“Whilst there are more and more women enjoying beer, the majority of women in Australia still view beer as reserved for blokes only. Let’s by no means make beer girly, but let’s make it for everyone.”
“I would like anyone and everyone who is involved in beer and brewing in Australia, to be conscious of the language they use when communicating about beer and beer culture, be it on their websites, in their advertising, their social media commentary and everyday conversation. I would like to see good intentions around how women are embraced in the industry to become great actions.”
When ready, the collaborative beer to be brewed this Saturday will be available in good beer venues primarily in NSW and Victoria.
But first, everyone is invited to Young Henrys to unite over beer.
Date & Time: Saturday 8th March 2014, 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Location: Young Henrys Brewery, 76 Wilford Street, Newtown, New South Wales.
FREE BREWERY TOURS with YH’s Ricki Lee for females on this day – running at midday and 2:00pm. Send an email [email protected] if you want to book in.
A food truck will also be in attendance for your lunching needs.
To learn more about the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, visit www.iwcbd.org
Join the brew day conversation on Twitter with the hashtag: #IWCB